Here is a thought. Especially for those of you about to start University or looking thru a list of modules on your course.
Are Universities promoting INTOLERANCE?
Well no self respecting Academic would agree with this proposition.
They would say that I am being provocative and contrary…and they would say that I always am…its what Old FJH used to do in early morning tutorials when young students were too hung over or lacking in confidence to make a contribution.
But consider this. A person applies to do Medicine at a university but openly declares that he is a pagan who does not believe in Science and prefers Nature- based cures. Or she declares she is a Jehovahs Witness who would notfacilitate a blood transfusion.
Not a suitable candidate.
Or what about a student who is an Athiest and decides he would like to study Theology. How would he be perceived if he went all “Stephen Fry” in a tutorial?
Choosing a Course at University or even just a module….is about buying into something…not actually challenging it.
The student who chooses to study the Irish Language is probably buying into something that his fellow students and lecturers already believe.
It SHOULD be possible to study the Irish Language, merely as an academic subject and believe that the Language should not be subsidised or promoted in any way? Or indeed buying into a bigger theme of Nationalism or Republicanism.
Taking British History….can we deduce anything from the student who is passionate about the British Raj?
Can a young man sign up for a course on Twentieth Century Feminism and on the first day when fellow students are introducing themselves to the class…he announces that he is opposed to womans suffrage?
Of course you might read this Blog and say that these are absurd examples.
But not quite. In my experience, lecturers on the “European Union” are europhiles. How these lecturers would react to a class full of UKIP members…thats a good question.
Of course Europhiles are TOLERANT. Europhobes are INTOLERANT KNUCKLE DRAGGERS.
We know this to be true because its told to us by Academics who teach European Integration.
What happens at University is NOT Conventional Wisdom being challenged. Rather it is often Conventional Wisdom and Conventional Prejudice being re-enforced.
There is no point in living in Rome and fighting with the Pope.
No point in going to Harvard, Oxford, Trinity….Queens ….and fighting with the lecturers.
Except of course YOUR DIGNITY.
There are no Student Grants. Just Loans. You are paying for this EDUCATION.
Of course it helps if you are going back to University at age 53 and are unemployable anyway, thru ill health. All you want is the Degree…not a “good” Degree.
If you dont want to be part of a smug elite, churning out more of the same then be RADICAL.
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.
So Kudos….to anyone starting a course in (say) Conflict Resolution and introduces himself/herself by saying “I dont believe any of this nonsense”